Boots to close 200 stores as High Street crisis continues.

03/06/2019.

UK chemist chain Boots has announced plans for a review that could see more than 200 stores close over the next two years, as problems for high street businesses continue to worsen.

American owner Walgreen Boots Alliance reported that the business – which is one of the UK’s biggest retailers – had faced its “most difficult quarter” on record.

A spokesperson for the company said that the firm was being “realistic about the future and the fact that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape.”

The review to close almost 10% of the pharmacy chain’s stores presents a bleak forecast for businesses in Britain’s retail sector.

As high rent and wage costs combine with high business rates, lower consumer footfall and disruption from e-commerce businesses, many businesses have struggled to make a profit. In the last year alone, the number of shop closures has led to 93,000 jobs being lost across the UK.

As one of the UK’s largest retail chains, Boots employs 56,000 staff across its network of 2,500 shops. The sites being considered for review include those in areas where Boots operates more than one store or has leases set to expire soon.

CEO urges MPs to reform “unfair” business rates

The news of Boots’ plans to review sites for closure comes a matter of days after the company’s chief executive urged for parliamentary action to reform the “unfair” business rate system.

CEO Sebastian James said that pressure from unmanageable rates was responsible in great part for the collapse of many firms and presented “a real problem” for the retail sector.

Whilst Boots reported an annual business rates bill of £144m on sales of £6.6bn in 2018, online retail giant Amazon by contrast paid just £63.4m in rates on sales of £11.5bn.

Speaking to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee, Mr James warned:

“We do not have to look very far to see that some names that have been on the high street for decades – if not hundreds of years – are closing their doors, going into administration . . . and most of them will cite property costs.”

Mr James criticised a lack of government action on the matter, noting that Boots had lodged appeals against business rate bills nine years ago – but had yet to receive any rulings from the Government.

Retail business rates “neither fair nor sustainable”

Leaders across the retail sector have similarly condemned the harmful impact of business rates on businesses in light of the current trading climate.

In May, the British Retail Consortium’s Helen Dickinson noted that the current business rates system “imposes huge costs on firms regardless of whether they are in profit or in loss,” terming this approach “neither fair nor sustainable.”

Campaigners have called for the current rates system for retailers to be replaced with a levy on reported sales – a proposal publicly backed by leading retail industry executives including Mr. James of Boots UK and Tesco CEO Dave Lewis.

Adding his voice to the call for urgency, John Lewis’ property head Chris Harris warned MPs last month: ‘There needs to be action now,” adding: “There has been an unprecedented change in the high street very recently and the business rates system is cumbersome and slow to react to that.”

The closures are yet another blow for the UK’s high street and only adds to the evidence that UK retail is under extreme pressure at the moment.

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Are you owed money by a retailer?

With pressures on the high street it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant retailers and watch carefully for any late payments.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

See the section below – About CPA.

If you are also struggling, do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

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Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could be the cash rescue your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

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If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

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We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

 

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cashflow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply to retailers like Boots or small ones, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When you customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

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0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

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